Yesterday I was looking through the books at my sister's house and picked up an Encyclopedia Brown book, I told her, "these are the best books to keep in the bathroom!" Haha. We always had a copy or two in the magazine rack in our bathroom when I was a kid. (Wait, do other people have magazine racks in their bathroom? That now seems a bit TMI).
Didn't realize then that this conversation was timely until today when I read that Donald J. Sobol, the author of the books recently passed away on July 11, 2012, at the age of 87. This prompted me to delve deeper into my memory of Encyclopedia Brown.
The detective was actually named Leroy Brown. He earned the nickname "Encyclopedia" because he was so smart and had such an amazing range of reference knowledge that he was a walking encyclopedia.
"Leroy Brown's head was like an encyclopedia. It was filled with facts he had learned from books. He was like a complete library walking around in sneakers."
If the books were written today he would probably be called "Wikipedia Brown" because most kids have little usage of encyclopedia sets.
Leroy's father was the chief of police, and so he had the crime fighting nature in his family! Most of the crimes were little things, thefts and those types of mysteries, no murders or violent crimes. The perfect introduction for kids to the detective/mystery genre.
All the mysteries were small chapters which you could solve yourself, the solution to the crimes was found at the back of the book.
(Confession, I always turned immediately to the back of the book. Oh ye of little patience...)